Monday, June 1, 2020

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 new and forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!


Addison, Katherine. The Angel of the Crows [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor, returns with The Angel of the Crows, a fantasy novel of alternate 1880s London, where killers stalk the night and the ultimate power is naming. 

This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows. 
Why We Want It: Addison has built up so much good will with the near perfection that was The Goblin Emperor that we'll follow her anywhere.



Brooks, Terry. The Last Druid [Del Rey]
Publisher's Description
Hope blooms anew for the Four Lands in this riveting conclusion, not only to the Fall of Shannara series but to the entire Shannara saga—a truly landmark event over forty years in the making! 

Since he first began the Shannara saga in 1977, Terry Brooks has had a clear idea of how the series should end, and now that moment is at hand.

As the Four Lands reels under the Skaar invasion—spearheaded by a warlike people determined to make this land their own—our heroes must decide what they will risk to save the integrity of their home. Even as one group remains to defend the Four Lands, another is undertaking a perilous journey across the sea to the Skaar homeland, carrying with them a new piece of technology that could change the face of the world forever. And yet a third is trapped in a deadly realm from which there may be no escape.

Filled with twists and turns and epic feats of derring-do—not untouched by tragedy—this is vintage Terry Brooks, and a fitting end to a saga that has gathered generations of readers into its fold. 
Why We Want It: We've been reading Shannara for as long as we've been reading fantasy - which makes The Last Druid a bit of a special book. Similar to when Raymond Feist ended the Riftwar Saga in 2013 after nearly thirty novels, Terry Brooks is closing the door on Shannara with a similar (though slightly larger) number of volumes. This isn't to say that Brooks won't fill in more gaps, but the The Last Druid is the end of the chronology, the last book in the timeline. What began in The Sword of Shannara ends with The Last Druid. I'm here to see how it ends. It's been a long journey.


Chakraborty, S.A. The Empire of Gold [Harper Voyager]
Publisher's Description
The final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war. 

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt. 
Why We Want It: I'm one book behind in the Daevabad series, but City of Brass was a stunningly good debut. I'm a little stuck behind some Hugo reading but once I clear that I'll be moving right into The Kingdom of Copper. This is exactly the sort of epic fantasy I want to read and Chakraborty's voice is clear and strong.


Mackintosh, Sophie. Blue Ticket [Doubleday]
Publisher's Description
From the author of the Man Booker Prize longlisted novel The Water Cure comes another mesmerizing, refracted vision of our society: In a world where women can’t have it all, don’t underestimate the relief of a decision being taken away from you. 

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?

When Calla, a blue ticket woman, begins to question her fate, she must go on the run. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desperate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.

An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation, and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation and desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity. 
Why We Want It: Despite living in the midst of a pandemic, escalating violence and riots in Minnesota, and a continuing path of a dark timeline, I still find myself drawn to dystopian fiction and feminist dystopian fiction in particular. I find these novels deeply compelling and continually essential, whether as perpetual warnings or visions of a path we don't need to go down.


Moreno-Garcia, Silvia. Mexican Gothic [Del Rey]
Publisher's Description
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. 
Why We Want It: Each novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia is as different as the one before it, and they are all fantastic. My initial understanding of Mexican Gothic was that it was not a speculative fiction novel - and perhaps it is not. Whether it is or it is not, any novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia is worth reading.


Vaughn, Carrie. The Ghosts of Sherwood [Tor.com Publishing]
Publisher's Description
Carrie Vaughn's The Ghosts of Sherwood revisits the Robin Hood legend with a story of the famed archer's children. 

Everything about Father is stories.

Robin of Locksley and his one true love, Marian, are married. It has been close on two decades since they beat the Sheriff of Nottingham with the help of a diverse band of talented friends. King John is now on the throne, and Robin has sworn fealty in order to further protect not just his family, but those of the lords and barons who look up to him – and, by extension, the villagers they protect.

There is a truce. An uneasy one, to be sure, but a truce, nonetheless.

But when the Locksley children are stolen away by persons unknown, Robin and Marian are going to need the help of everyone they’ve ever known, perhaps even the ghosts that are said to reside deep within Sherwood.

And the Locksley children, despite appearances to the contrary, are not without tricks of their own.
Why We Want It: I didn't think I needed a new Robin Hood story in my life, but Carrie Vaughn is a fantastic storyteller - and, frankly, I've already read The Ghosts of Sherwood and it's an absolute delight. You may not realize it, but you want this story in your life.


POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 4x Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan. He / Him.

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